Ever wondered about the history of drum and bass? Where did it come from? Who was the DJ first to play music at 175 beats per minute?
Well, in a video promoting the recent Return To Rage event at Heaven all your questions about the origins of D&B music are answered. In the video Fabio & Grooverider, the pioneers of drum and bass / jungle music, tell the story of exactly how they invented drum and bass music!
What Was Rage?
Rage was a weekly Thursday party that opened in October 1988 at Heaven, one of the capital’s largest nightclubs, and already home to early acid house parties such as Paul Oakenfold’s Spectrum.
It was there that two unproven DJs by the name of Fabio and Grooverider created a cultural pressure cooker, where imported American house and techno mutated week by week into rave, jungle, and drum & bass.
Where Did Jungle Music Come From?
In the words of Grooverider himself, “Jungle music was formed in the early 90’s at Rage. Myself & Fabio were playing acid house at various raves at the time and there was a new sound coming through called Hip House incorporating a breakbeat”
He goes on to say “I was attracted to that sort of sound as I was a hip hop kid growing up. Breakbeats was a big deal to me, trying to mix that with house was the one”.
“I went to a record store in Brixton, Red Records, my friend Funky D was working there and he knew I was attracted to the more breaky sound of house at the time. He played me ‘Calm Down’.”
“Calm down is not actually a jungle tune. It’s a hip hop tune”
“I played this at 45. It sounded like hip house but without the 4 to the floor which totally blew my mind so I started to seek out more tunes like it.”
Fabio sighted ‘Jump On It’ by house music legends Masters at Work as an early track he used to play at 45rpm… This track has assimilated itself so deeply into UK rave history so much that I could only find it on YouTube at 45rpm instead of it’s original 33rpm!!
What Was The First Jungle Tune?
While the 2 tracks mentioned above weren’t produced as jungle records, the sounds that Fabio & Grooverider were playing at Rage went on the influence a generation of music makers to hit the studio and recreate what they’d heard.
We Are I.E. by Lenny De Ice is often referenced as one of the first jungle tunes along with releases on groundbreaking labels like Ibiza Records, Reinforced Records & Moving Shadow.
More Drum & Bass History
Want to learn more about the history of drum and bass music? We recommend the books Renegade Snares & Who Say Reload, both of which document the evolution of jungle music and feature some amazing interviews with the foundation DJ’s & promoters who were integral in developing jungle / drum & bass into the global phenomenon that it is today.
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